Am I ready?

On Monday I rested and I really needed it.

On Tuesday I went for a short 13k run that was intended to be slow, but I did a couple of sprints and some fast kms here and there, so I will call it a fartlek training session. It was fun, but I should not have done it as my right hamstrings felt a bit too fatigued at the end.

That did not stop me doing some repeats on Wednesday. I did the usual warm up and then six by 600mt at 3:50 with 1’50” rest. Then finished with a 3k cool down. I really struggled to go fast. The legs were too tired and wooden. I tried the Fenix3 feature where you create a workout on the PC with all the crazy details you want and then upload it on the watch. It’s very well done but I guess it is made for people running on a track as it does not store GPS data from the run. That is not good for me. I like seeing a map at the end of my training. I’ll check to see if I did get some options wrong.

I was so tired that on Thursday I did 15k at 5:01 min/km. Nice recovery run. I did speed up a bit at the end but that’s just me being silly.

Friday I decided to rest as I wanted to be fresh to tackle my longest run ever.

The plan on Saturday was to run 50k and use it as a final test before the NDW50. I wanted to run it as if it was only the first part of the 50 miles race I’ll attempt in May. I left home very early equipped with all the mandatory kit for the NDW plus 5 gels, 6 shots and, for the first time, some salt sticks. I wanted to see if drinking pure water with no salts was going to make it easier to eat and keep down the gels so I was going to get the salts from the pills this time. It worked out pretty well. I have to stop to take the pills but that’s fine.

I kept running at a steady easy pace around 5:30 min/km and regularly ate every 30 minutes either the gels or the shots, alternating them. Every hour and a half or so I ate a salt stick. Everything went smoothly. I never had any moment of crisis or cramps (in the belly or legs). After 43k the legs started feeling a bit heavy but I guess that was also psychological as I was running towards unknown territories. I am sure that the hills of the NDW will make the legs feel totally different from the monotony of running on flat for hours. I am confident also that aid stations and meeting people will make time go by easier (the 2k I did with a guy preparing for a 100k in the Pyrenees went very fast for example).

I got home after exactly 50k in 4 hours and 40 minutes. I had a massive grin on my face. I was happy. Happy for achieving something six months ago I thought impossible. Happy for seeing that the hard work paid off and happy because I felt tired but not spent. I feel I can run more than 50k and at a pace I am happy with. I also did it with very tired legs while I plan to taper nicely in the next three weeks and arrive on race day charged like a bomb. I cannot wait for the NDW50 and even more I cannot wait to run it with my friends coming from all over Europe.

So, another solid week. I ran a total of 90k but most importantly I have beaten my distance record.

Have fun!

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